Gil Marks’ Sweet Potato Latkes
This interesting recipe comes from the late Gil Marks, rabbi, author and food historian. Rabbi Marks was the author of the James Beard-award winning book, Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes From Jewish Communities Around the World (Wiley), the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food and other wonderful books on Jewish cooking and baking.
Makes about 18, 3-inch pancakes
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, grated or 1 pound grated sweet potatoes and 1 pound grated white potatoes
- 2 to 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- About 3 tablespoons matzoh meal or 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- About 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Dash of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
- 1/4 cup raisins, chopped dates, or nuts (optional)
- Vegetable oil or schmaltz for frying
Combine the potatoes, eggs, matzoh meal or flour, salt, pepper, spice, and, if desired, sugar and/or fruit or nuts. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (3 to 5 minutes). Add 1/8 inch oil and heat to 360º F. (The surface of the oil will shimmer.) Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls or 1/3 cupfuls into oil and flatten with back of a spoon. Fry, turning, until golden on both sides (3 to 5 minutes a side). Drain on paper towels.
The flavor and texture of latkes deteriorates rather quickly. To reheat, place cooled or frozen latkes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a 375º F oven until crisp, 5 minutes per side for cooled; 8 minutes per side for frozen.